Wielding two weapons

Greetings all.

Are there any published 5th ed rules for fighting with a weapon in each hand? I know there aren't any in the main book, but there were in 4th ed.

Does anyone have any good houserules for dual wielding in their sagas. I realize that medieval europe wasn't big on two weapon styles (until later when the weapons got lighter) but my next campaign isn't set in mythic europe and i've got in mind a group of enemies who wield 2 weapons but no rules for them.

Thinks i already know:

  1. dual wielding is hard, I've studied sword fighting myself and i'm well aware that i'm more dangerous to myself than to others while wielding a pair of long blades.
  2. A new skill (two weapons) is absolutely required
  3. a well trained man with two weapons has a definite advantage over a man with comparable training and only one weapon. Miyamoto Musashi tells me so :smiley:

My personal thinking is that i should take the 4th edition system and tyr and adapt it. That makes the rules simple and requires no nasty changes (such as multiple attacks).

I would also love to have some rules for this. People tend to think that wielding two weapons is so hard because they assume that swords are used. An of course, wielding two swords would be very hard. But I believed that Franks used two smaller axes at once in melee, or to throw at foes.

But yes, rules for this (and a lot of other things related to combat) would be nice in the 5th edition. :slight_smile:


I wish they'd publish a larger section on combat in general.

I'm not sure that you really need any extra rules for this. Personally, I just let someone use a weapon in each hand. Let them choose from blow to blow which one they are using for defence and which one they are using for attack --- which will only make a difference if the weapons have different combat statistics.

Then if you want a character who is trained to use two weapons, give that character a specialisation called "two weapons", which will give him +1 Attack and Defence when using two weapons.

Certainly. Not just that but "later" history as well.
And of course if we stick with MMs homeplace, the main reason why so few in Kendo are doublewielding is that its "untraditional", its definitely effective when done!

Oh yeah, i know exactly what you mean and i was still smart enough not to try playing with 2 swords!
Still, after some(alot) of practise, it starts getting really effective.

Yup, and at least some additional risk of botching. Maybe reduced by the score in 2 weapons skill...

Well, you might know my scepticism concerning people the superiorety of two-weapon-fighting.
However, I can understand that it is very flashing and therefore tempting for PCs to try it out.
I would suggest something like this:
You need a minor virtue called "Unusual Backround" to enable you to gain an ability called "Two-Weapon-Fighting " at a score of 1. You may than add this abilities score to your single weapon ability score. However, the bonus gained this way cannot exceed the bonus given to the total by the corresponding characteristic.
Example: Single weapon: 5, Two-Weapon-Fighting 3, Str. 2
adds up to 9 (5+2+2) + weapon bonus for attack.
This way only exceptional well trained and dextrous characters can benefit by this style. Not everybody fits for this syle.
This is kind of balancing when compared to Puissant Ability, which gives you a bonus of +2 for all actions iwth this ability without the need to raise any characteristic and additional ability score.
Extra botch dices are added when fighting two-handed in confined space like rooms or close to your comrades. (this includes whenever fighting as part of a trained group.

You could make it simple and just count yourself twice and use the group rules

Vetrenius: Its not that my players are going to take it, its the NPCs. Its for a different setting too and this NPCs are Elvish warrior priests, frothing beserker types. I see them as lightly armoured, dual wielding and very acrobactic and relentless.

As for the superiority of two weapon fighting. It depends what you are doing. Unarmoured opponents fighting solo its a definate advantage. Fully armoured opponents in a full scale battle, i'd rather have a shield and something more clunky.

The background virtue would be inappropriate for the situation i'm using it in but maybe not so much in mythic europe.

Agnar, i can't remember the group rules as we don't use them. So i can't comment on your suggestion.

Actually, that's not a bad idea. Add an Ability called Dual Wielding or something like that, and let that function as Leadership would in group combat. :stuck_out_tongue:


Well, that's what I call "Unusual Backroud"....

Warhammer Fanatasy style background, really :slight_smile: Wardancers fit the bill of what he is saying 100%

In that context making the 2 weapons wielding extra powerful would be perfectly fine. I would prefer it being because they have dexterity +7, but hey



I just read this and here are my thoughts:

  1. A new skill, Dual Wield (DW), is required. This allows you to fight with two weapons at a time.

  2. Your DW skill can not exceed your Single Weapon Skill. This is mostly for mechanics and to stop mini-maxers. It also makes having an effective DW skill difficult, as you have to train two skills to reap the added benefits. All skill bonused apply here, so that, e.g. a DW skill + Puissant can't exceed the Single weapon skill.

  3. Combat stats:

Initiative: Use highest initiative of weapons used.
Attack: Half the lower Attack value of the two weapons (round up) and add to the attack value of the higher.
Defense: Take the lowest defense value of the two weapons and subtract one. Yes, you can be easier to hit if you wield two weapons at once.
Damage: Half the lower Damage value of the two weapons (round up) and add to the damage value fo the higher.
Strength: Must meet the requirements for each weapon.
Load: Each weapon is counted towards the Load value.

Personally, if we're just talking about NPCs here, number justification becomes less of an issue - especially if you aim to keep the 'mysterious' quality of the style by making something that a PC is never likely to be able to learn or be trained in. If such is the case, then you assign numbers as you wish (keeping balance and or factors of PC survivability in mind).

That leaves the desire to add some sort of flash to make sure that the PC's are left with an impression when the first witness it. Perhaps some manner of special maneuver that isn't normally open to the PCs, such as an ability to 'pin' an engaged opponent's weapon (presumably with a roll of some kind) or the ability to get a bonus when on the receiving end of multiple opponents.

That's about all I've got while here at work. :wink:

Mouska: I like your rules, they seem balanced and fair. I am stealing them for my saga. Many thanks.

Xavi: I was thinking less wardancers and more witch elves.

I've not made the elves so massively over the top as +7 dex, but they are faster and more dextrous than clumsy old humans.

I don't want to make dual wielders extra powerful, i like to make games balanced so if the NPCs can do something that my players know humans can do in the real world, they will expect it to work as in the real world.

If i wanted to introduce NPCs that have wardancer style combat moves, i'd probably make it some kind of magical ability as a "Combat Dance" that gives them bonuses to various rolls depending on the dance, etc.

I see. I didn't think as witch elves as priests but as crazed assassin maniacs. OTOH that is what a pries tof khaine is :wink: Seems OK to me

Mouska's system works well if you use warhammer-style 2 weapons (large, encumbering stuff) but not for duellist-like dual weapon users. The cloak and dagger were there to act as a shield, so they must have added to your defence total, not increase it. :slight_smile:

To make for the "easier to hit" I would give them low soak, more than low defence. They concentrat ein causing damage more than in protecting themselves.

For more inspiration (I just saw the rules skimming through it) there are rules for dual wielding in Hermes Portal #15 (or maybe #14, can't recall)

To finish, Dex +7 for an elf is not overboard IMO. Dex +5 would be a fairly clumsy elf if you go by the warhammer fluff. Dex +10 would be a skilled elf without much problems. We humans, with our maximum at a punny +5 are a bunch of retards compared to them :wink:



I think the only example of using two weapons is the mamluk emir, rop:td p.119. Of course, without a set of rules in place for such, there's no way to know if the author was creating a character who was simply using two longswords, or a character highly skilled with using them.

I did think about the main gauche style of dual wielding. In instances such as this and for the cloak and sword styles too, i'd not really count it as dual wielding as the main gauche/cloak is primarily and overwhelmingly a defensive weapon (if i'm up on my sword fighting lore, i've only personally done Japanese styles, much more ignorant on European stuff).

I this case i'd have the weapon act like a shield with a flat bonus to defence. Probably as good as a buckler +1 defence.

Doesnt work by itself. The main gauche would just as often be used offensively(temporarily, usually to exploit openings). And even a "cloak hand" could and would be used for much more than just blocking/defending.
Sure you can "dumb it down" to just that, but then you loose the reason for not just using a buckler anyway.


I've worked on some expanded combat rules now and again. Although I haven't got the books with me now, I have the documents for the combat rules, and I wrote up a way of using two weapons in the game. I haven't play tested these rules. They might work, or I might have overlooked something important. Anyway, copied out of the document and pasted into this post, I give you: :slight_smile:

Using Two Weapons:
A combatant can use two weapons in the same combat round. Add together the Initiative, Attack and Defense bonuses for each weapon, then subtract the Load of the heaviest weapon from each of these totals. Use the best Damage bonus of the two weapons. If both weapons are Brawling weapons, use the Brawling Ability. If not, use the Single Weapon Ability.

Long Sword and Dagger (Init +2, Attack +5, Defense +0, Damage +6)
Two Maces (Init +0, Attack +4, Defense -2, Damage +8)
Two Daggers (Init +0, Attack +4, Defense +0, Damage +3)
Axe and Short Sword (Init +1, Attack +6, Defense +0, Damage +6)
Long Sword and Short Sword (Init +2, Attack +6, Defense +1, Damage +6


PS. I also have some more expanded combat rules. If anyone's interested, just let me know. I'm working on cleaning up the document now, making it look like it the layout of the Ars Magica books. :slight_smile:
The document includes rules for faster combat (for those who want it even faster, or include a lot of NPCs), a note on metaphysics, wound effects (you have an arrow in your eye, you say?), attacking or defending against multiple opponents, mounted combat, more detailed missile weapons and mass combat.

:open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth:

Yet another reason to kill elves on sight.

Good idea, although I'd probably use these in conjonction with Mouska's rule 1 and 2.